Courtney Meeks was killed Wednesday evening while on duty at the store, which is at McNichols Road and Schaefer Highway.
"He loved what he was doing. He really wanted to be a police officer. He was one of those people who would save a person, it was in his heart to do," said friend Shantell Toms.
Detroit Police Chief James Craig said Meeks was in fact working to join the force.
"He had applied to the Detroit Police Department as a police officer only one month prior," said Craig. "He's a hero."
Meeks was shot in the neck as he was pursuing two men he saw trying to carjack a woman in the parking lot.
"Three suspects, one was clearly armed with a weapon and when the security officer confronted the suspects, they fired one shot," said Craig.
The chief said there is no indication Meeks fired his own weapon at any point, though he was armed.
Meeks' father, McCoy Meeks, was by Chief Craig's side during a news conference Thursday afternoon.
"He was just doing normally what he always do. He's always been trying to protect and assist people. If you needed help he will help you," he said.
Police said the two men fled in a burgundy Ford Taurus, which was later found abandoned. Police are searching for three suspects.
Detroit police have released surveillance video of the carjacking.
Descriptions of 3 suspects:
Suspect one is described as a black man between 20 and 25 years old, standing about 5 feet 6 inches tall with a slim build, medium complexion and a scruffy beard. He was wearing a black skull cap and red coat with blue writing on it with a possible "SC" sports logo. He was armed.
Suspect two is described as a black man in his 20s, standing about 5 feet 6 inches tall with a slim build and light complexion. He also was wearing a skull cap, a black and gray winter coat. He was armed.
Suspect three, also armed, is described as a black man about 18 years old and standing about 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighing about 160 pounds. He has a medium complexion and was wearing a dark tan coat with a hoody. He also is wanted in connection to another carjacking attempt about one block away from the CVS on Hartwell.
"We have reason to believe the suspects live in this area," said Craig.
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